Your company’s productivity depends largely on the workforce you build. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as finding the best individuals to fill each position. The fact is that there are many pieces to a successful, productive workforce. In the following article, we’ll focus on the top 5 ingredients you’ll need to achieve maximum success with your staff.
Ingredient 1: Clear goals tied to overall company goals.
Before you build or add to your workforce, you need to make sure you have clearly defined goals. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Well, not necessarily. Goals often need to be more than just “hiring the best employee.” Before you even set your workforce goals, you need to take a hard look at what the goals are for your entire organization, from the top down and how does it improve your business operations..
For example, say your company is currently number two in sales in a particular region and top management has vowed to push into number one over the next year. Your workforce goals should be set to match and support the overall goal. So how will your plan help make that happen? It needs to be clear. You also need to make sure that the overall goals are correctly communicated to your existing workforce and create ways for them to buy in and make it happen.
Ingredient 2: Identification of key positions.
Yes, every single employee is important to your organization—if they aren’t, they shouldn’t be on your payroll. However, every company has those few key positions that are most important to sustained growth and success. These are the positions that, if not filled correctly, will most likely slow things down and negatively impact production, efficiency, and your bottom line.
Identifying these positions may not be as easy as it sounds. Most people (wrongly) assume these are the most senior positions. However, sometimes employees lower on the ladder are just as important, if not more so. For example, a position that requires lots of face-to-face customer interaction can really make or break your brand.
Need some advice on how to identify those critical roles? Check out this article for a detailed plan.
Ingredient 3: A company culture focused on teamwork.
Teams outperform individuals. It’s irrefutable. Just look at how the San Antonio Spurs dominated Lebron James the Miami Heat in the NBA finals. They are a prime example of an organization with a team first mentality, so much so that the coach doesn’t even want his players to talk about him to the media. No praise for himself. It’s all the team.
Miami, on the other hand, is a team built primarily on a star player. Sure he’s probably the best in the world, but when up against an organization built on a team mentality, he wasn’t enough to overcome. This is a perfect metaphor for organizations in any industry. For ideas on how to build a culture of teamwork, read this article.
Ingredient 4: Training opportunities.
Don’t ever assume that employees will “just figure it out.” Adequate training and continuing education is a nonnegotiable. As noted here, there are many benefits to providing ample training opportunities. From strengthening weaknesses (we all have them), to improved performance, to increased employee satisfaction (having more tools to do your job makes you feel more confident); the benefits of training far outweigh the costs.
Ingredient 5: Accountability.
If you are providing for all your employees needs in the way that you should with proper culture, training, rewards, etc. then you are doing your part. Of course, there is another piece to that equation—the employees must do theirs. And truth be told, if you have all the other ingredients, this ingredient will typically take care of itself. However, this isn’t always the case.
For this reason, it’s crucial that you have a system for accountability in place. You need to set high, yet realistic expectations. If they aren’t known, they won’t be met. These expectations should be set to keep everyone accountable. And keep in mind that the system for accountability must again be connected to the overall company goals.
Remember, accountability means you are providing feedback on a regular basis. This doesn’t always have to include official performance reports, but that is certainly part of them. Make sure your employees know these are taken seriously.
You can’t achieve your goals without a successful workforce. Do you have the proper ingredients? Talk to us about them in the replies!